Defense: OAG-appointed expert is no expert

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The lawyer of a man being accused of rape has questioned the qualifications of the Office of the Attorney General’s expert and argues that he is no expert.

Defense lawyer Bruce Berline, who is representing Manolo Romolor, argues that the OAG’s appointed expert, Dr. Deary, is not an expert and questions if he is qualified to testify as a sexual assault medical examiner. Court records only identified the physician as Dr. Deary.

Berline said his client does not question Dr. Deary’s qualifications as an obstetrician or gynecologist and does not challenge Dr. Deary’s ability to testify as a fact witness.

Berline wants the court allow Dr. Deary to testify as a “fact witness,” but not as an expert in the field of forensic sexual assault medical examinations.

“The information provided shows that Dr. Deary attended one training in December 2017. It is not clear how many sexual assault examinations Dr. Deary has performed,” said Berline.

The OAG argues that a sexual assault medical examiner’s qualification to be an expert should be assessed from the standpoint of actual experience and currency in the field rather than an academic degree.

Berline said that, even under the view taken by the OAG, Dr. Deary’s medical qualifications do not qualify him by itself to be an expert in the field of sexual assault examination and neither does his limited training and experience.

Manolo Palencia Romolor was arrested on charges of sexual assault in the first degree, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace.

Police said Romolor admitted sexually assaulting the victim and that he only stopped when their other friend punched him thrice.

According to the victim, she had attended a small party at a friend’s apartment when the incident happened in 2016.

The victim said she took five shots of liquor and that she became drunk and her friend’s wife helped her inside her bedroom where she slept.

While sleeping, the victim felt someone on top of her but thought it was her boyfriend. She then remembered that her boyfriend was off-island. When she looked up, she saw Romolor on top of her. The victim told Romolor to stop, but the suspect continued sexually assaulting her. She said Romolor kissed her hard, causing a small cut on her upper lip.

The victim said she pushed Romolor. Her friend’s wife, who was sleeping in the same room, got up and punched the suspect several times to get him off her.

Later, the victim asked her friend to drop her off at her house. She said she was scared and ashamed to report the incident to the police.

The victim identified Romolor in a Facebook photo shown her by a detective.

Romolor allegedly admitted kissing the woman.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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